Million Russians Request Easier Lending Conditions From Banks Amid Pandemic

The Bank of Russia reported this week that the country’s financial institutions received 994.300 requests from borrowers asking them to change lending conditions against the backdrop of the coronavirus pandemic, RBC reported.

The data was obtained from a survey of 60 credit institutions that issued almost 95% of consumer and mortgage loans from March 20 to April 23.

From April 16 to April 22, the number of applicants to banks increased by almost 400,000 compared to the period from March 20 to April 15. Borrowers indicated a decrease in income from the COVID-19 epidemic among other reasons for changing loan conditions.

By April 22, banks considered 82.6% of the total number of applications – 821,000. Of these, around 450,400 applications for restructuring the loan were granted, while 370,600 were denied by banks.

Of all the applications, about 170,000 related to the provision of vacation loans. 57,000 of them were consumer loans, 48,000 were credit card debts, 27,000 for mortgages, and 13,700 for car loans.

Earlier in April, the Central Bank said that despite the crisis in the economy, Russian banks in March increased their corporate loan portfolio by 1 trillion rubles ($13.4 billion).

The peak of lending to companies occurred in the middle of last month, as enterprises needed funds to compensate for cash flows during declared business days, RBC wrote.

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